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Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
96 Old Courthouse Square
phone: (707) 573-9600
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Reviews by MiScusi:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Went to the Flavor Bistro about a year ago in Santa Rosa and forgot to Beerfly it till now. I plan on going back in June anyway and plan to update if needed.
When a place that is a block away from the Russian River brewpub makes you forget about the Russian River brewpub for a while, they are doing something very right. After our first night in Santa Rosa drinking away at Russian River we got up the next morning for a little food. We made it over to the Flavor Bistro because I had heard they carry a bunch of Moonlight beers I've been dying to try. We got there right when it opened at 11am and we're greeted by the man I believe is the owner, at the door. He welcomed us and we were seated.
The place really is nice, very clean, almost with an upper class cafe vibe to me. There is a little section to sit right outside the door covered with lots of greenery.
As for our lunch, I had a turkey/lettuce/tomato/avacado sandwich which was excellent, if not a little too much for me at 11am. I had a couple Moonlight beers, and the nice thing is you can order them in a small size (10oz), or large size (I forget but probably a full pint).
The whole ambience of this place is just really cool. Nice people, great service, great food. I guess the best word to describe it would be "Classy." On our way out we talked to the same man (who I assumed was the owner) for a few minutes about his unique beer selection. Great experience overall and if in Santa Rosa you have to hit this place.
05-17-2008 14:23:03 |
More by MiScusi
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Ben drove back to the hotel, roused the Bethy, and the 2 of them walked back to some place for din they talked good on just a few blocks shy of here. Wasn’t so much waiting on the call, but trying to keep track of time so I’d know when to set out to meet them. Probs was, I was going to have to give up my mint seat at the bar to do so and they don’t come so easy at Russian River. Tough one, but these things you do for friends and food; I finished my ‘tion’ and got up and just walked away...
On the green, seemingly upscalier than I am on a good or any day; through the out front pen umbrella’d up and in. It’s a pretty big room, it is. Stucco beige walls uppers done with landscape prints and framed mirrorings, burgundy ceiling with blended ductwork, yellowy center columns, down, well, the center, with alternating buttercup drop lighting, and seemingly blueish carpetings. 3 dozen tables about in all, not so much sectioned off as riddled about; standalone and some on beigey leather seating on the stucco walls, below mounted upright bell lamps. And most of it to the rear as the room opens up, but there’s some up front amidst an oddly placed fireplace there.
“C” shaped bar to the left pleasantly tea candle lit with something glowy underside otherwise, and seating for a dozen on non-backed stoolings. Barback holds a center mirror on a wood unit, with wine shelved atop and to both sides over a coffee thing and baby oven. A smaller wood shelving unit with wine sits to the left side. Track spots and a single spinny fan over the bar for ‘cool off, man!’
6 taps, and they’re all from Mr. Moonlight; Death & Taxes Black Beer, Bombay By Bay IPA, Lunatic Lager, Special (Brown Ale), Twist Of Fate Bitter, Reality Czeck Pils. It’s said that this place is the unofficial brewpub on Moonlight, and that Brian Hunt’s amazing beers are the only thing they pour. I am sooo good with that. Drank the Death & Taxes Black Beer because it pairs well with life. Apparently, they have a small bottle list I’m disinterested in looking in on now or when, ‘cause did I mention there were 6, count ‘em, 6, beers from Moonlight on? And a wine list with about 6 dozen entries.
Foodings are apparently good Italian, and a variety of other things. They started with the organic spinach salad (caramelized onions, bacon, organic pear & local goat cheese) and the sauteed Dungeness Crab Cake (basil aioli & crispy shoe strings yams of total win), while I opted for the smoked salmon pizzetta, overlooking the capers; dysfunctional family to dirty olives twice unsuccessfully removed. The pizzetta was quite perfectly what I needed, and the crab cake did not suck. Didn’t get at the spinach salad but it looked most handsome.
As we’d gorged ourselves on meat, cheese & bread earlier, we then decided to split 2 entrees between the 3 of us; they being the Martin’s Ragu (boscaiola meat sauce with porcini & red wine, pasta ribbons), and the prawn pasta (slivered garlic, sweet basil, white wine, pomodoro, cream). I was thinking this was going to be awesome, and was correct, as usual.
And dessert for the fuck of it (because we could). Thought the black & white bomba (choc & vanilla gelato espresso, whipped cream, nuts) would be in order, as we saw it constructed earlier, barside. Oh, and a double espresso would be lovely, yes, thank you. And the crème brulee for Bethy, and a chai tea, too.
Good crowd, comfortable house. Must be that special place you go do dinner ‘cause I’ve heard ‘Happy Birthday’ sung here 3 times here tonight. The food was real goddamn good, and the beer, well it is the unofficial Moonlight brewpub. I am most happy here. I must note at this point how awesome Ben is at organizing vacations and procuring tables at bars. Wait! I said that?
06-12-2012 14:40:16 |
More by slander
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Stopped in here on 26 Dec 2011 for dinner w A and other family. Arrived just before the dinner crowd hit.
Nice moderately upscale decor. Focus is primarily Italian, although they also have a high end burger menu. Beers included five Moonlight beers on tap, as well as a few others in bottles, Racer 5 and Bud if I recall. 12 oz of Moonlight for $4, or 12 oz of Bud for $4. Not a hard decision.
Food overall was quite good. We had the mussels and sweet potato gnocchi for appetizers. For main courses we had Molly's chicken, a couple of the burgers, duck ravioli, pork chop, and chicken strips for the kids. We tried the poached pear for dessert. The mussels and poached pear were the favorites, but nothing was less than good.
Waitstaff was extremely patient with the kids dropping toys on the floor. Apologies to the tables around us.
We tried all five of the Moonlight offerings. Reality Czech and the IPA we liked best.
Not strictly a beer destination, but apparently one of the few places to offer so many Moonlight beers. Would definitely go back, if only for the beer. Overall a bit on the pricey side ($200 for our table of five adults and two kids), but good food, beer, and atmosphere. Also the Moonlight glasses were offered for sale, but a little expensive at $7 ea for the 12 oz. ones (we passed).
12-31-2011 17:31:57 |
More by htomsirveaux
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Been here a few times while in the area for wineries and Russian River. Essentially, a very good Italian restaurant with the added bonus of having 5 or so Moonlight beers on tap.
Atmosphere is obviously more of a casual/contemporary restaurant than a bar.
Quality of the food is very good. I've had a few different italian entrees. I especially enjoy the Gnocchi with chicken/sausage Ragu. They also have a considerable list of Burgers.
Service has always been top notch. Prompt, friendly, helpful.
Selection is very wide, mostly centered on Italian dishes, but tons of Pastas and entrees to choose from.
Food, as I said before, has always been very good.
Prices are reasonable, pastas range from $12-18, entrees around $20. Higher for items like lamb, lobster, etc.
Overall, a very solid choice for a good meal and good beers on tap.
12-28-2011 22:41:32 |
More by regsucks
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2.5 | $$$
For BA's intents and purposes this place should be renamed to Moonlight Brasserie.
It seems when you go to Russian River you must come across the street to Flavor to get Reality Czech and the rest of the Moonlight lineup, and that is exactly what we did.
The place was pretty packed but we were able to quickly grab a couple stools at the bar and ordered the obligatory Reality Czech, that beer really lived up to the hype. Looks like a great Italian place we got some bread and oil/balsalmic which was good, but since I didn't get a full meal, I'll reserve judgment on the food.
Staff was attentive, we had a couple beers, enjoyed ourselves and went on our way.
If ever in Santa Rosa and wanted a more upscale dining experience I would definitely consider Flavor Bistro.
12-22-2011 00:28:24 |
More by tjensen3618
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Stopped in here for the expressed purpose of sampling the Moonlight lineup, and wasn't disappointed. Delivering kegs that day was none other than Brian from Moonlight Brewing, and it was great to meet and talk with him for a little while.
Tried Death & Taxes, Reality Czech, and Homegrown, and also sampled a couple small plates off the menu. The beer was the highlight, though the food was good too.
Flavor was a fairly large place, and pretty dead during the early afternoon. yellow gold stucco, red painted wood trim, carpet, and paintings hanging around the dining room. Upscale, sort of trendy but a little dated.
Service was quick at first, then they disappeared. It seemed like there were at least 3 different staff serving our table, and there were only a handful of tables occupied. They didn't do draft samplers, but did sell a Moonlight glass which was cool.
It's so close to RR, it would be hard not to stop in here and see what Moonlight seasonal was pouring when walking by. Overall a decent localvore restaurant that happens to sell some really great beers from Moonlight.
10-14-2011 02:59:31 |
More by emerge077
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
First time I came here was on a date with the GF because I knew they had Moonlight Brewing on tap. Since then, I have come here fairly often for either drinks or dinner.
This place is a great place to take a date. Whenever I come here, I have been seated relatively quickly and been attended to very well.
The food is fantastic. It is rather affordable for a nice meal. I usually go with the sandwich of the day if I get there for lunch, or I will go with the Pork Chops. Foods is fairly priced for the quality.
Now for the beer. This place only serves Moonlight Brewing on tap, and I love them for it. I have been able to try numerous of their beers here thanks to this. They are well priced and you can order a smaller glass if you do not want a full pint.
This is one of my favorite places. I will be coming back for year to come.
08-16-2011 07:20:53 |
More by avaldivia
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
This was a very disappointing experience, in large part because the service was just this side of catastrophic. We visited on a beautiful Sunday and the restaurant was busy, though far from overflowing. The host greeted us in a very slow and unfriendly manner, as if he was irritated by our presence. The place was swarming with waiters and busers, but they seemed consumed with doing side-work - prepping glasses, rolling silverware, carrying stacks of plates, all this at shortly after noon on a busy day. It was easily 20 minutes before we were even asked for our drink order, which was really the whole point of going. The one exception to the service was the water waiter, who whizzed through the restaurant filling glasses with lightning speed - I was on glass 4 before a waiter showed up. Even after he took our order, our waiter was so difficult to get hold of (he carefully avoided looking around at his station or making eye contact) that my wife attempted to set a trap, draining her water glass in hopes that the water guy would zip by on a refill mission and she could grab his wrist and restrain him until he agreed to bring us our waiter.
It didn't work.
We think the water guy sensed danger and hid, because we never got another drop of water after that point.
The food, when it finally came, proved to be decent. The burger menu is fussy and over-thought (my Burger di Parma proved nearly impossible to eat without a ghastly mess), but the basic burger was delicious. The gnocchi was good, and the Romaine Lettuce Wedge was, well, romaine with dressing and bacon. I don't know what else we expected.
The beer is, however, very tasty and worth the trip if you're in the area. The Moonlight Brewing IPA was musky and rich, the pilsner was crisp, and the bitter was a good english pub bitter.
So go. But go with your expectations in check.
06-24-2011 20:46:13 |
More by Seanibus
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Popped in here when I was in Santa Rosa to get some Moonlight Brewing beers, guess what, they have them all here. Very cool. Sat at the bar, not at a table, just ordered the beers and went back to Russian River.
The interior of this place is an Italian landscape, lots of plaster and the walls are busy with fake windows and vines. The place is a little dark and pretty nice on the inside.
We were served and paid our bill quickly and had a great time while we were there. No complaints about the service.
There were about 8 beers on draft, they all seemed to be moonlight beers. Pretty cool selection.
The beers were offered in half pours and full pours and it still was quite cheap, I would head back to try some more moonlight beers.
11-02-2010 21:47:02 |
More by drabmuh
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 5 | $$$
So, the reason this place rules is that it's a restaurant - I can't call it a beer bar - and they are strcitly locavore. Hence the beer selection limited to only local brewing phenom Moonlight Brewing. They have 5 taps that they keep kegged with only his beers. With Russian River and 3rd Street Aleworks within a one block radius, they choose not to cannibalise sales and instead stock a great brewers freshest stuff. Using only their beer selection as a barometer, it's poor - even though Moonlight rules. The food, however, is awesome and varied. The singapore noodles rule, as well as their pasta dishes. Service is somewhat sketchy on occasion - I've had a couple of times where I got the wrong order or sat for 10 minutes waiting for the bartender to show up - but they are great folks. It's not cheap, however, as entrees run $12 - $20 for dinner. Super family friendly and has outdoor seating where you can people watch in Summer. Overall an awesome place.
07-11-2010 23:28:20 |
More by SolomonGrundy
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Flavor Bistro in Santa Rosa, CA